Julie in the comments to a previous post makes a fair point:
There is a significantly higher probability that McCain will not make it past his first term given that the average life expectancy of an American male is 75. His VP pick is a statement on who he thinks is capable of leading the country. Given his previous criticisms of Obama based solely on lack of experience, it looks like a large gaffe.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that McCain makes it through a full term. After four years in the VP slot–if she spends that time learning about DC and foreign affairs, specifically–I think she’d be an excellent candidate for president. A two week crash course in foreign policy isn’t enough experience to run for president.* But four years of attending high-level foreign policy briefings, traveling around the world, and constantly meeting with foreign dignitaries probably is.
So let’s say that McCain decides that he’s one and done. Would not Palin be perfect primed–nay, the perfect candidate period–for the GOP in 2012? If McCain really is looking past electioneering in 2008, this is a brilliant move.
*Of course, I would have argued that four non-substantive years in the Senate probably would be a disqualifier as well, but here we are.